Trevor Noah grew up in an abusive home. He says it's 'terrifying' to watch what's happening to Kim Kardashian.

This post deals with violence and harassment against women and could be triggering for some readers.

In recent months, Kanye West has undergone a campaign of prolonged, public harassment against his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. 

We have seen him share personal text messages, belittle Kardashian's parenting, outwardly threaten her new partner Pete Davidson, and manipulate and intimidate her in whatever way he can. As Kardashian said herself: "Divorce is difficult enough on our children and Kanye's obsession with trying to control and manipulate our situation so negatively and publicly is only causing further pain for all."

To watch this behaviour has been uncomfortable to say the least, especially with the context of West's mental health. But it has also been packaged as tabloid fodder, a "dramatic" ending to a celebrity relationship. 

As South African comedian Trevor Noah pointed out this week, this story transcends entertainment gossip. There's a larger conversation to be had. And it has everything to do with violence against women. And for Noah, it's personal.

Watch part of Trevor Noah's monologue on this topic here. Post continues below.

Video via CTV Comedy Channel. 

Raised in Johannesburg South Africa throughout his childhood, Noah witnessed his stepfather consistently abuse his mother. 

Looking back on the experience, Noah said it was demoralising to see how many people told his mum she was overreacting. To calm down. 

"I remember once we went to the police station, and they asked my mum: 'Oh but did you talk back? Is that why you're here? But what did you say to him?' I saw this as a child. You see a world where women are questioned for what is happening to them, as opposed to people questioning what is happening to them." 

And for years, those around Noah's family simply shrugged their shoulders and said "this is what happens". Only years later did Noah receive a call from his brother, telling him something bad had happened. 

"I'll never forget one day I got a call from my brother saying, 'Hey, mum has just been shot in the head. She's in the hospital now'."

Miraculously, his mother did survive the attempted murder, as the bullet missed her brain and arteries. But the stepfather - who was convicted of attempted manslaughter - ended up just being sentenced to probation.


So while presenting The Daily Show this week, Trevor Noah spearheaded a segment on West and Kardashian, sharing his discomfort and concern. 

"It started very much in the land of tabloid, but I feel it has crept into a world that more people should pay attention to. [Since the divorce] Kanye has become more and more belligerent about how he tries to get Kim back," Noah said.

All while West dates other people himself, including Julia Fox, and ignores Kardashian's insistence that she wants to move on with her life. 

"His harassment of Kim, it makes you uncomfortable. There's a lot of people who say 'Kim Kardashian loves publicity, she loves celebrity, this is her thing'. I get that. But there's also an element of a woman saying to her ex: 'Hey please leave me alone.' It touches on something more sensitive and more serious than people would like to admit."

The side of Kanye’s Instagram spree we can't ignore. Post continues after audio.

Of course there have been rumours that the whole debacle is a PR stunt "orchestrated" by the Kardashian empire in order to promote their upcoming show. 

But as Noah highlighted: two things can be true at once. Kardashian likes the power of celebrity and publicity. And she is also being harassed. 

"I see a woman who wants to live her life without being harassed by an ex. You may not feel sorry for Kim, because she's rich and famous, because of the way she dresses, because of the way she appropriates Black culture, because she tells women they're lazy - but what she is going through is terrifying to watch," he said. 

It is true that what Kardashian has experienced is now shining a light on important conversations like these surrounding violence against women. Because, if the richest and arguably one of the most powerful celebrities cannot leave her ex-husband without experiencing harassment, intimidation and manipulation, what does that say about the plight of other woman fleeing a similar scenario?


Noah said: "A lot of women realise when they do leave, the guy will get even crazier. What we are seeing is one of the most powerful women in the world unable to get her ex to stop texting her, to stop chasing after her. Kim Kardashian and countless other women find themselves in a terrible position because Kim asking Kanye to stop clearly isn't helping."

Image: Getty. After delivering his monologue, Noah was met with swift harassment from West himself - the rapper leaving a racial slur, which won't be repeated, on the comedian's Instagram page.

It resulted in West being suspended from Instagram for a short time period due to using hate speech, and a day or two later it was confirmed that West would no longer be performing at the upcoming Grammys, which Noah is hosting. 

West is up for five awards this year at the Grammys, but his management confirmed to The Blast they had received a phone call informing them he had been "unfortunately" removed from the lineup of performers for the show due to his "concerning online behavior". A representative for the singer also told The Blast, "Kanye's team isn't surprised by the decision" to drop him.

In response to West's racial slur, Noah replied: "You're an indelible part of my life Ye. Which is why it breaks my heart to see you like this. I don't care if you support Trump and I don't care if you roast Pete. I do however care when I see you on a path that's dangerously close to peril and pain… Don't ever forget, the biggest trick racists ever played on Black people was teaching us to strip each other of our Blackness whenever we disagree."


He continued: "I've woken up too many times and read headlines about men who've killed their exes, their kids and then themselves. I never want to read that headline about you."

After sharing his own family trauma of domestic violence, Noah said it's the story of his own mum that makes him look at Kim Kardashian's harassment differently. 

"I'm not saying Kanye will [do something]. And I'm not saying Kanye is just a bad guy. But as a society we have to ask ourselves: do we wish to stand by and watch a car crash when we thought we saw it coming or do we go 'hey slow down, let's put our hazzards on because there is a storm right now'."

If this post brings up any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. It doesn’t matter where you live, they will take your call and, if need be, refer you to a service closer to home.

Advice and counselling for men concerned about their use of family violence: Men's Referral Service, 1300 766 491.

Feature Image: Getty/Mamamia.

Looking forward to a brighter future? Complete this survey now and go in the running to win one of six $100 gift vouchers!